Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What I learnt from Mafia wars

After playing the facebook application - Mafia Wars - for some period of time, I've come to realise a few truths in life. You can really learn a lot of serious stuff in games, if you played it seriously enough. I'm so serious to even put in a spreadsheet the various yields one will get if one invests in different kinds of property.

Here are the truths in life that I realised by playing the game:

1. You need friends around you. Having many friends is better than having no friends. Having a few good quality friends is better than having many poor quality friends.

When playing the game initially, I only had less than 5 friends. As a result, I was bullied tremendously. It got to a stage that I was so irritated that I went to a massive recruitment drive to increase my friends. Currently, I had 150+ friends. Guess what? No more random attacks from others, nobody dared to rob my properties and it became so much easier to attack/rob others. I also realised that as my many friends grew in levels, it's even harder for others to attack me. A few high level friends helps more than plenty of low level friends.

2. When the going gets tough, the tough not only gets going, the tough hits back.

I used to just silently absorb all the abuse from others as they attacked and robbed my properties, thinking that I should be nice to others. But I soon realised that the best defense is to attack others, especially those that think they can bully me. I would gather a few strong friends, rob their properties dry, attack them until they are dead again and again for a few days until they give up. In life, you need to show others that you have the capability to hit back very hard when the need arises so that others will not take you for a sucker. I have to be aggressive to protect myself.

3. It's important not to overstretch your cashflow.

When you are rich, it's easy to forget that for every things you buy, there is a hidden liability side. As you accumulate your assets, you also begin to accumulate your liabilities. Make sure you always have free cashflow and do not accumulate too many assets that drains your cash out. My current cash flow in per hour is $22 million, cash out per hour is $402k, so my net cashflow is still $22 million per hour. I think I'm as conservative in game as in real life.

4. Be aware of the consequence of your actions, it might come back to haunt you later.

As I was attacking and robbing those who attacked and robbed me earlier, I was wondering. Is it possible that the other party is also retaliating because I had earlier on attacked/robbed them? So it becomes a case where the victim becomes the aggressor and subequently became the victim, and goes on and on in a vicious cycle. In life, it might not be possible to see who is at fault. So one should just think about whether all the fighting is worth it.

I called a truce with someone after fighting him for around a week. He accepted, and is now part of my team.

5. When money is not a problem, a lot of calculations becomes unnecessary.

When I started, money is not enough, so I had to calculate yields for the property purchase to make every cent that comes in count. When I am earning 22 mil per hour (i.e. in one day, I'll get 530 mil - alas if only this is real money) in the game, there is no point to this anymore. I just buy the property or any other items that I like since it forms only a tiny fraction of my cashflow.

The rich thinks very differently from the not so rich, and they are moved by concerns different from others.

There are so many truths in life that you can discover, if you only open your eyes to them. Most are just in front of you yet are invisible to you. Hidden in plain sight.


PanzerGrenadier said...


You draw some interesting lessons from "Mafia Wars".

Maybe I should join your team!


Be well and prosper.

la papillion said...


Hey, you played mafia wars too? Do join me!

Jeremy Ow said...

Hi, LP. I'm a bit uncomfortable with some of the lessons from this game "Mafia Wars". For example, "one has to be agressive to protect one's interests, even to the extent of damaging others (e.g. stealing/ robbing others)." I hope this is a lesson only restricted to the game playing and is not to be seen as a lesson to be applied to real life. I cannot imagine people who damage others (in any possible ways) in order to protect one's interests. It's quite scary if everyone were to behave like this in real life. I think one should love and cherish others, be it people who are good to us or not good to us. By being loving to others, even those that are difficult to love, one will cultivate a generous loving heart that maybe far more worthy than other gains in life. Consider this, "So what if one gains the world but loses his soul....?"

Jeremy Ow said...

Sorry if I sounded too serious in my earlier comment. I didn't have any meaning of offence. I'm just a person who views love and peace-making as very important characteristics in life.

la papillion said...

Hi Jeremy,

No offense taken, no worries. But I think you misunderstood me. The robbing/attacking is referring to the game of course, but the lessons learned can be applied to life in general.

I'm equally peace loving, but there some people who do not think the same way. These people think that they can take advantage of people's kindness. I've met a couple to say this and it left quite a bitter aftertaste, not to mention the emotional wound.

I would not go out to take advantage of others, but neither do I want to be taken advantage of. That's my stance. If I have to display aggressiveness so that others know that I mean business and will not take advantage of me, I will do it just to defend myself.

dream said...

trying to be gangster now, izzit? :)

Createwealth8888 said...

Evil, evil, stay away from this game. Just the word: Mafia already evil!

la papillion said...

Hi dream n bro8888,

Not trying to be gangsters of course :) It's a game and I intend to treat it as such. But the point of the post is that the lessons learnt from one place can be equally applicable to other places, if one is creative and reflects upon them :)

Jeremy Ow Tai Pang said...

Hi, LP. Thanks for replying me. I know that you are a peace-loving person. :-)

Createwealth8888 said...

The mind is what u feed it constantly. Sooner or later, you will become one of the character in the Game.

Anonymous said...
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PanzerGrenadier said...

A bit off-topic but the recent power grab by a group of women in AWARE demonstrates the power of Mafia type "takeovers" with the accompanying after-effects, i.e. the incumbents fight back.

la papillion said...

Hey PG,

Ya, I noticed too. There are some power moguls playing some puppets there, very politically motivated to achieve their aims.

Anonymous said...

GREAT Posting. And it is too true! For those that think Mafia wars is to rough or violent-- GET A CLUE. This gane is so preschool its funny. It is super fun but nowhere in this game do you find the violence or roughness thats in most video games. Mafia wars is fun and gives us the oppertunity to say ;""join me in robbing this electronics store!"" NO WE DO NOT DO THIS IN REAL LIFE-- get a clue-- its a GAME! And if you pay attention to the game-- you will find this post about learning things to be SO TRUE! Buuy the bear THANKS for posting this Great fun reading!

la papillion said...

Hi anon,

Thanks for your feedback :) It's quite addictive so I quit it few month ago, haha :)

You still on it?